The Dry Land (2010)

R  |   |  Drama  |  24 January 2010 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.6/10 from 454 users   Metascore: 47/100
Reviews: 13 user | 23 critic | 10 from

A U.S. soldier returning home from war struggles to reconcile his experiences abroad with the life and family he left in Texas.

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Zion Sandoval ...
David Smith ...


A thesis picture. James arrives home to West Texas from Iraq. He doesn't remember much about the war, and it's soon clear he has post traumatic stress. He takes a job at an abattoir. After an alcohol-fueled fights with co-workers and his wife, he seeks help at the VA. He returns to find she's leaving him until he can regain control. He leaves his dog with his ailing mother and drives northeast to visit an Army buddy and find out what it is he can't remember. His friend won't say much, so James drives on to Walter Reed Hospital where another friend convalesces. Will James find out what he's repressed, and if he does, will it make anything better? What options does he have? Written by <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive language, sexual content and disturbing violent situations | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

24 January 2010 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

American Tragic  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$1,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$7,351 (USA) (30 July 2010)


$7,351 (USA) (30 July 2010)

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

An intense, human portrait of an Iraqi war vets struggle to reintegrate into his home, family and community.
26 January 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

So far, my favorite Sundance film of 2010. The Dry Land is a deeply-felt, tone perfect portrait of an Iraqi war veteran's struggles to re-integrate into his marriage, family and community, as well as his journey to make peace with the events of his personal war.

This film is NOT political in any sense of the word, but rather a very human story, told by a director and actors who obviously care about both the characters and the many war vets struggling to readjust.

The film uses a very clever metaphor to bring us into the horrors of war, and the camera closely follows James to involve us from his point of view and to provide the intimacy needed to tell such a personal and troubling story.

If you are a war vet, or if you know or love one, or if you simply really DO care about the soldiers in combat zones throughout the world, SEE THIS FILM!

Warning: This film contains some graphic scenes and may break your heart.

17 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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